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EPA New England Joins National Commuter Choice Leadership Initiative
Release Date: 02/01/2002
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, EPA Community Public Affairs Office, (617) 918-1008
BOSTON - Everyday, millions of people drive their cars from home to work and back. Often they find themselves stuck in traffic, breathing exhaust fumes, and wasting fuel. However, there are alternatives – ways that people can get to and from work that cause much less frustration and much less pollution.
The US Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) have teamed up to established the Commuter Choice Leadership Initiative, a voluntary, national program to encourage the use of public transportation. EPA and DOT are working with national, state, regional and local organizations and agencies to encourage employers to provide incentives that encourage employees to commute to and from work in ways that cut air pollution, reduce traffic congestion, reduce employee commuting expenses and cut taxes for both employers and employees. To date, over 200 employers throughout the United States have volunteered to participate in the Commuter Choice program, providing benefits to over 500,000 commuters.
EPA New England is contacting other agencies -- and other employers -- in New England to encourage participation in this program. As a part of the Commuter Choice Leadership Initiative, employers agree to provide benefits such as: transit subsidies, flex-time, van pool benefits, shuttle service to transit stations, and ridesharing.
This effort is one component of EPA New England's new Energy Initiative, which aims to boost energy efficient practices and reduce pollution across New England. Pollution from passenger vehicles has an enormous impact on New England's air quality, water quality and climate, accounting for approximately one-fourth of all smog-forming pollution and one-fifth of the nation's emissions of carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas.
For more information on the commuter choice program in New England visit: www.epa.gov/otaq/transp/comchoic/ccweb.htm or call Lucy Edmondson (617) 918-1004